The Apple Cup is here to stay, at least for the next five seasons. Washington and Washington State announced plans to continue their annual rivalry amid conference realignment.
The Huskies will soon be moving onto the Big Ten, leaving the Cougars to pick up the pieces in the PAC 12. Despite the upcoming departure, UW hasn’t completely forgotten about its instate foe.
The news comes the week of the 2023 rivalry matchup, which will be the schools’ last as PAC 12 opponents. Washington announced earlier this year that it plans to leave the Conference of Champions for the B1G.
Washington State, meanwhile, is one of two remaining PAC 12 members with the other being Oregon State.
Conference realignment has done a number on college football rivalries. Programs are now joining leagues on opposite sides of the country, causing many of those regional ties to disappear.
The Huskies and Cougars weren’t going to let that happen, and the continuation of the series lends a suggestion to others in a similar situation.
Sooners, Cowboys catch strays after Apple Cup news.
One of the most notable instate rivalries to be disappearing is Oklahoma-Oklahoma State. The Sooners will leave the Big XII after this season with plans to join the SEC.
When OU announced that decision a few years ago, it drew immediate backlash from Cowboys supporters.
OSU head coach Mike Gundy said that “Bedlam’s dead,” after hearing of the Sooners’ departure as both programs already have future non-conference opponents scheduled.
While there has been some more positive momentum building for a series return, not much ground has been made. This Apple Cup agreement shows that it can be done, though, if both parties truly want it.
See this Sooners & Cowboys? It is possible. Washington State & Washington agree to 5-year continuation of Apple Cup thru at least 2028. 2024 at Lumen Field in Seattle w/next 4 games alternating b/w school’s campuses
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy)
“Hey two schools that let common sense prevail and not let personal feelings ruin tradition. Hope other schools can follow suit.”
“No reason Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can’t do this either.”
“Your move, Cowboys and Sooners.”
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are far from the only schools to be caught in the conference realignment shuffle.
Even teams that haven’t moved onto new leagues are being affected by these transitions. A number of conference rivals will no longer play annually due to the scheduling conflicts that come with adding new members.
It’s good to see two schools that want to keep old traditions going in a time of unprecedented change.
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